Interference in sovereign affairs has made a remarkable comeback in the last decade, as both the US and the EU, notably, have become targets of sophisticated operations that target the public sphere and elections. But what exactly lies in that phenomenon, how different is it from previous modes of interference, and what ought to be done about it from an international legal perspective? Often missed in the latest round of debates is the long history of interference and notably the extent to which it has long been the rule in the Global South. This problematizes the recent rediscovery of non-interference in liberal democracies, and raises questions about what exactly is protected. The presentation will emphasize how after decades of globalization, including of the information infrastructure, it has become increasingly difficult to meaningfully delineate a domaine réservé of states; how moves to fight interference can strongly backfire by compromising some of the very liberties that go to the heart of democratic life; and how defining interference requires that one be willing to live with the consequences in a world where the sources and targets of interference are increasingly inverted.
Frédéric Mégret is the Hans & Tamar Oppenheimer Chair in Public International Law at McGill University. He held the Canada Research Chair on the Law of Human Rights and Legal Pluralism from 2006 to 2015. He was named co-director of the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism in 2021. A generalist international lawyer, his work examines the history, evolution and contradictions of international law in a world of states.
The workshop has a hybrid format, either in person at the Faculty Room or on Zoom:
No registration needed.